Janus was the Roman god of transitions, passages, and gateways. He could look forward and backward with equal clarity. As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, many of us feel compelled to find our inner Janus. My inner Janus sees the past progress and the future potential of my clients. I want to share a few compelling stories, and ask you to support one of my customers, Amy Peterson, whose future includes an appearance on the Harry Connick Jr show!
Believe it or not, I found a true Janus in my 2016 mix! Coach Hayes, who helps lead a hockey team, has the talents of Context (looking backward) and Futuristic (looking forward) in his top 5 strengths! This is quite unusual, and I’ve seen it only a few times in the thousands of clients I’ve worked with. Coach Hayes is also a practicing lawyer. In school, Coach Hayes was often told that “he sees things differently.” I’m sure that was a compliment. Think how helpful it is for Coach Hayes to guide athletes to a championship state with a view of the past and a few of the future. Ditto for navigating legal cases. If I could buy one strength, it would be Futuristic (followed closely by Woo). Or, I could partner with Coach Hayes and have him help me see over my horizon.
I met two StrengthsFinder siblings in 2016! One was Dan, a software engineer for a marketing analytics firm. The other was Andrea, an analyst for a large furniture company. The three of us share the same top five strengths but in a different order. With the gift of our Ideation, we could all strongly relate to the story I shared in Destination Unstoppable about being a wild duck in the corporate world. Strengths triplets in Michigan!
Of course, a highlight of 2016 was the publishing of my book, Destination Unstoppable: The Journey of No Teammate Left Behind. It is a Janus artifact in its own right, documenting my past and helping me build a future upon my unique approach to building successful teams. I have some big Destination Unstoppable irons in the fire. More to come on that in 2017.
The best part about my work is meeting remarkable people, leaders, and teams. In 2016, I met Amy Peterson, a Detroit lawyer who co-founded a non-profit charity called Rebel Nell (isn’t that a cool name?) The purpose of Rebel Nell is to support disadvantaged women. They create custom jewelry made from graffiti culled from various sites in Detroit. In the process, Amy and her team transfer business and life skills to the employees so that they can build a better future for themselves and their families. I had the honor of working with Amy and her team, including the first round of women she has supported. It was fascinating and moving to hear their stories, and how the investment in their talents was giving them confidence. They all loved learning about their strengths, and there were a few that could give the athletes I work with a run for their money! Command, Self-Assurance, Woo… it was wonderful.
Amy’s strengths include the power package of Achiever, Activator, Restorative, and Futuristic, all wrapped in the beautiful warmth of Empathy. Amy can clearly envision how to swiftly remove the roadblocks to a better future for these women, and is deeply connected to their situation and experiences. I admire her. The great news is that she’ll be in New York City on Tuesday, January 3rd to speak about Rebel Nell on the Harry Connick Jr show! It will air on Thursday, January 5th. Let’s all send her lots of encouragement and positive energy. I know she’ll do great and can’t wait to see her on television! Here is the Rebel Nell website. All of the jewelry is beautiful. I think the cuff links are truly unique and would make a great gift for the men in your life.
I continue to work with multiple sports teams, including my third Cranbrook Hockey Team. We held two workshops right before Christmas and oh my goodness, what a remarkable group of young men. There are ten new players this year. It is thrilling to watch them on the ice and work with them off the ice. Their team success statement is better than chocolate.
As I look back on 2016, my go to strength was Achiever. I’ve accomplished a lot since I decided to leave IBM. However, it’s been two years since I had a proper vacation. Remember when I lived in Savannah? That was in the fall of 2014. Since then, it’s been non-stop action.
As I look forward to 2017, I will dial back my Achiever just a little bit. I’m going to fill that void with Ideation and Strategic so that I harness the full potential of those irons I have in the 2017 fire. The result, I hope, will be a slightly more focused and prioritized approach to the expenditure of my precious energy. I might even take a vacation and invest in my inner world!
What strength did you use the most in 2016? What strength will you dial up in 2017, and why? What is your inner Janus whispering to you? Are you listening?
Happy New Year to one and all!
Maureen (Ideation | Strategic | Learner | Achiever | Individualization | Maximizer)